Journal Article

Hormonal Contraception and HIV Disease Progression

Kenneth H. Mayer, Elizabeth Stringer and Erik Antonsen

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 47, issue 7, pages 945-951
Published in print October 2008 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2008 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI:
Hormonal Contraception and HIV Disease Progression

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The majority of the 15.4 million human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)–infected women worldwide are of child-bearing age and need access to contraception. Hormonal methods of contraception are safe, acceptable, and effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies. Many published studies have examined the impact of hormonal contraception on HIV disease acquisition and transmissibility. Far fewer have investigated the relationship between hormonal contraception and HIV disease progression. This review examines available data on this relationship from clinical, animal, and immunological studies. Several clinical studies suggest an overall effect but are not definitive, and the mechanisms behind HIV disease progression are unclear. Animal and immunological data suggest that immunomodulation by hormonal contraceptive methods may affect the immune response to HIV infection. Additional work is needed in this area to elucidate the possible relationship between hormonal methods for birth control and progression to acquired immunodeficiency syndrome in HIV-infected women.

Journal Article.  5107 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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